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NA body concerned about lack of transparency in housing project

By Our Staff Reporter 2017-07-07
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Housing and Works on Thursday expressed concerns over alleged lack of transparency in the Thalian Joint Venture Housing Project.

The project is located a few kilometres from Islamabad, near the motorway.

Committee members raised concerns about the availability of water, title of land, access from the Islamabad-Lahore Motorway and eligibility of the joint venture partner.

The committee directed the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) to present all the substantiating documents in this regard.

Committee members were of the view that the joint venture partner was not selected as per Cabinet approval and procedures laid down by the government and did not have the capacity to carry out the project.

They also raised concerns about the project`s feasibility, in terms of the availability of water, title of land and motorway access.

`This is the best way to stall any project by vested interests they hold land that connects the scheme with the highway. Eventually this land will have to be bought at a very high rate by the project manager,` committee chairman Haji Mohammad Akram Ansari said.

He said that the joint venture partner involved in the purchase of land may be involved in such an underhanded deal.

The committee decided to hold a comprehensive briefing by the FGEHF on the project during its next meeting.

The meeting also discussed progress on the Prime Minister`s Low Cost Housing Project in Kuchlak, Balochistan. Expressing dissatisfaction, the committee directed the Ministry of Housing and Works to initiate immediate action as suggested in a subcommittee report.

The committee also directed the Pakistan Housing Authority (PHA) to assist the Quetta Development Authority (QDA) in removing encroachments on land for the aforementioned project.

The committee was informed by the QDA director general that the aforementioned land was facing significant encroachment and the project cannot be carried out until it has been cleared. He assured that the Balochistan government would support the removal of encroachers and a feasibility study. The committee ordered the removal of encroachments within 15 days under intimation to the committee.

After being briefed on the PHA`s policy on the allotment of plots for mosques in its projects, the committee directed the ministry to take all representatives from sects who had been disregarded on board during the process of mosque plot allotments.